One of the biggest problems facing Druid tanks is our itemization. It's worlds better than it was pre-Burning Crusade, to be sure, but where Plate items itemized for tanking veritably jump into the bags of Warriors running instances, Druid tank gear is much more complex both in its acquisition and its value.
Uncrittability is one of the big sticking points of this issue. In order to become uncrittable, a tank needs 490 Defense. The thing is, there are exactly four items in leather that provide Defense Rating (not counting the useless greens 'of Defense') to a Druid tank. One of those 4 replaces the other, leaving us with 3 usable armor items at 70 that provide Defense.
Luckily for Druids, we have a talent that gives us a 3% chance to avoid being critted. What this means in a practical sense is that we need a mere 415 Defense to achieve uncrittable status.
Still, we need to load up on either gems or gear for other slots like trinkets, rings, cloaks and so on to make up for the fact that there are no bracers, hats, shoulders, gloves, shields, or idols capable of providing us with alternatives in Defense. I'm still wondering if I'll ever be swapping out my Clefthoof set due to it having adequate numbers in both Defense and Stamina that are difficult or impossible to replace.
In order to maximize our advantages, some of the slots we fill are filled whenever possible with high armor items. Our ring slots are an excellent example of this. Until our armor is acceptably high, an Iron Band of the Unbreakable will generally be preferable to an Elementium Band of the Sentry in spite of it's obviously better non-armor stats.
So this brings me to the actual topic of discussion.
In my previous post I didn't mention the Gilded Thorium Cloak. In two of three ways, it is a downgrade from the Thoriumweave Cloak.
Because it has Defense on it, though, I took it.
This allowed me to remove the Defense enchantment from my shoulders and re-gem a few slots with Solid Stars of Elune. Pricey but worth it. The net effect was a significant upgrade in Stamina for an imperceptible loss of armor.
With absolutely no buffs running whatsoever, I'm at 25.8k AC and 14.1k HP. I think I'm moving up in the world.
This seriously sets me back from my T4 hat and shoulders, though.